The Different Types of Frankincense: Uses, Benefits and How to Choose

Frankincense is a resin obtained from the Boswellia trees, primarily Boswellia sacra, Boswellia carterii, and Boswellia frereana. These trees are native to the Arabian Peninsula, northeastern Africa, and parts of India. There are different types of frankincense, each with its unique aroma and properties. Here are some commonly known types of frankincense:

1. Boswellia sacra (Sacred Frankincense)

Boswellia sacra, also known as Sacred Frankincense or Oman Frankincense, is highly regarded for its rich and sweet aroma. It is believed to have significant spiritual and medicinal value. Boswellia sacra is often used in religious ceremonies, aromatherapy, and natural health remedies.

2. Boswellia carterii (Frankincense or Olibanum)

Boswellia carterii, commonly known as Frankincense or Olibanum, is the most widely recognized and commercially available type of frankincense. It has a fresh, woody, and slightly spicy aroma. Boswellia carterii is used in various religious and spiritual practices, as well as in perfumes, cosmetics, and aromatherapy.

3. Boswellia frereana (Yemen Frankincense)

Boswellia frereana, also referred to as Yemen Frankincense or Maydi, is known for its citrusy and balsamic fragrance. It is primarily sourced from the mountains of Yemen and has a lighter aroma compared to other types of frankincense. Boswellia frereana is used in incense, perfumes, and traditional medicine.

4. Boswellia serrata (Indian Frankincense)

Boswellia serrata, commonly known as Indian Frankincense, is native to India. It has a warm, resinous scent with hints of citrus and spice. Boswellia serrata is used in Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Indian ceremonies, and as an ingredient in skincare products.

Each type of frankincense has its own unique scent profile and may be preferred for different purposes such as spiritual practices, aromatherapy, perfumery, or medicinal use. The choice of frankincense may depend on personal preferences, cultural practices, and intended applications.